Having Trouble Cutting Down on Sweets? Change Your Background Music

Most of probably need to reduce the amount of sugar in our diet. But you know how it is: sometimes you just need chocolate. And if there’s none available, then any kind of sweet will do.  Willpower will come up short.

What can you do, right? Maybe the answer is “sonic seasoning.”

Researchers at Oxford University think that we can reduce our cravings for sugar by tricking the brain into thinking that whatever it is we’re eating is sweeter than it really is.  To do this, all we need to do is play background music of a certain type.  The boffins say that higher-pitched sounds–pianos, strings, etc.–are associated with sucrose by the brain.  Play this music while you’re eating and you’ll think that whatever is on your plate is up to 10% sweeter than it already is.

Here’s a piece of music that has proven to make things appear extra sweet.

This apparently also works with not only salty and bitter foods but various wines.  Experiments with diners indicate that The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” brings out the, er, notes of a Cabaret Sauvignon.

Prefer a good Merlot? Then drink up to this and see if it tastes any better.

As someone who really enjoys wine, I’d love a playlist for each of my favourite varieties. I wonder what pairs well with a Bordeaux?

Read more about these studies at The Telegraph.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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